Minnesota Democrats plan to use their governing trifecta to bring assisted suicide to the state next year.
Sen. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, who carried an assisted suicide bill in the legislature this past session, said in a press release this week that “advocates are now ramping up their push to pass the bill during the 2024 legislative session that convenes in February.”
She participated in a panel discussion Wednesday to discuss her “End of Life Options Act,” which would permit mentally-capable adults with a terminal illness (six months or less to live) to be prescribed medication that would end their lives.
It was a full house today for our panel discussion about Medical Aid in Dying! Thanks to our incredible panelists, who shared their stories & expertise, and to everyone attended. Lots of support to pass this legislation! Special thanks to Dr. Rebecca Thoman for organizing! pic.twitter.com/Qtmkb6MmfK
— Kelly Morrison (@Morrison4MN) September 6, 2023
If the bill were to pass, it would likely require the support of at least some of the Minnesota Legislature’s Catholic members, whose church condemns assisted suicide as “simply one form of euthanasia.”
“It is the intentional destruction of one’s own life, that life which is a gift from God meant to be stewarded with gratitude and humility. It is thus an act of suicide and condemned by the Church as gravely immoral, both for the victim and for anyone who assists him or her,” the Minnesota Catholic Conference says of the issue.
House sponsor Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley, lamented in a May Star Tribune interview that the bill didn’t even get a hearing in the DFL-controlled House or Senate last session, which saw the passage of a number of bills related to controversial social issues.
“I’ve gotten requests from people that say it needs to go further than that,” Freiberg told the Star Tribune. “Like if I have Alzheimer’s disease, I should be able to use it, too. But that’s not a concession we’re willing to make at this point, because that would indicate that the person’s not capable of making their own medical decisions.”
Under the language of the bill, the person requesting “medical aid in dying” would have to be at least 18 years old, and doctors and health care facilities would not be required to “practice medical aid in dying.”
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) reacted to the introduction of the bill in February by calling it “dangerous, misguided, and extreme.”
“This legislation has gone nowhere in past years, and for good reasons. Assisted suicide is a danger to all of us,” said MCCL co-executive director Cathy Blaeser. “The truth is that legalizing assisted suicide would pose real risks to Minnesotans.”
Morrison dismissed these concerns as “fear-mongering” in an interview with WCCO Radio this week.
If passed, Minnesota would become the 11th state (plus Washington, D.C.) to legalize assisted suicide.
An informal survey of 8,144 state fairgoers found overwhelming support for assisted suicide among Minnesotans, 73% to 18%.